To promote safety and bike laws in urban areas, as well as introduce an emerging biking and pedestrian committee, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition led an Urban Biking Workshop at the Chelsea Public Library on July 31.
Vivian Ortiz, a League of American Bicyclists, certified instructor, focused on the importance of safety in areas that don’t necessarily offer bike-protected paths, such as Chelsea.
Jennifer Kelly, director of the Healthy Chelsea Coalition, is seeking members to form a biking and pedestrian committee to address the issues and concerns in the community. The committee, funded by the statewide movement to work toward healthy and active lifestyles – dubbed Mass in Motion – will work toward funding programs.
One such program is an outreach effort to give free helmets to bicyclists to increase safety.
“I work as a teacher in Chelsea, and have taken a bike to school. In the mornings when I thought I would feel safe because there wasn’t a lot of traffic, I actually had a couple of problems because I think people at that hour weren’t expecting to see someone on a bike,” Lisa Santagate said. “It was actually scarier than I thought it would be, so I don’t do it all that much, but I really want to.”
Ortiz addressed the importance of understanding that, according to state law, bicycles are considered vehicles, and should be treated as such with traffic laws, traffic flow and signaling. Although Chelsea doesn’t have much in terms of bicycle infrastructure, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) implemented a bike-sharing system to promote bicycle use and offer cheaper travel alternatives.
Residents do have the opportunity to ride on the new shared-use path along the Silver Line, and plans are in the works to include protected bike lanes on the reconstruction of Beacham Street – the only access point into Boston by bike.
LimeBike and Spin’s dockless bike program, introduced in May, opened the dialogue for bike safety in Chelsea, and created an app-based bike rental system that charges riders $1 per hour. Since there are no additions to the city for docking, the city was able to implement the program at no extra cost.
Although there is no added cost, the main concerns brought up by citizens are the bright green bikes being left in places that create a less aesthetically pleasing environment, or in places that can be dangerous, such as pedestrian walkways.
“Riding in an urban area that doesn’t have any bike infrastructure is really, really scary,” Ortiz said. “A lot of my fear in the beginning was folks were just not used to seeing people on bikes in my neighborhood. So that’s one tip that I would give folks, if you’re not comfortable riding by yourself, find a group of people. It’s much easier riding with a group to be on the street because there’s more power in numbers.”
The workshop introduced a variety of group rides that take place throughout the greater Boston area, including Hub on Wheels Sept. 16, as well as general safety tips for riders.
Ortiz’s final tips for riders: ride with traffic, not against it; choose your line and maintain it without swerving or lane splitting; avoid the “right hook” and check to make sure a car isn’t going to turn right in front of you; and always signal turns using the arm signals.
Anyone looking to become more involved in the biking and pedestrian committee can reach out directly to Kelly at email@example.com.
- Chelsea man indicted in 2014 murder
A Chelsea man was indicted Wednesday, March 18, for the murder 29-year-old Javier Ortiz and the non-fatal shooting of another man last year.
A Suffolk County grand jury returned indictments charging Hector Enamorado, 36, with first-degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
He has been held without bail since his arrest days after the Dec. 14 shooting. Wednesday’s indictments move the case from Chelsea District Court to Suffolk Superior Court, where it will be adjudicated.
Chelsea Police responded to a report of a person shot on Chester Avenue address at about 3:05 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 14 and located the 34-year-old surviving victim outside suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. That man directed police to an apartment inside where Ortiz was found suffering from gunshot wounds.
Both men were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where Ortiz died.
Chelsea Police detectives and members of the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit gathered evidence at the scene, witness statements, and additional evidence and sought a warrant for Enamorado’s arrest later that day. He was located on Dec. 16 and placed under arrest.
The grand jury proceedings leading to indictments were led by Assistant District Attorney Amy Galatis of the DA’s Homicide Unit. Enamorado is represented by James Cipoletta. A date has not been set for Enamorado’s arraignment in Superior Court.
- Police investigating Saturday night shooting
On March 14, at approximately 11 p.m., Chelsea officers were dispatched to Cottage Street for reports of shots fired and a victim of a gunshot wound. Upon arrival Officer’s observed a male victim sitting on the porch with a gunshot wound to the right leg, below the knee on the shin. The victim was alert and stated that he had been shot while walking on Cottage Street in front of 58 Cottage St. The victim was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Chelsea Detectives are actively working the case. If anyone has any information on this incident they are asked to call Chelsea Police at 617-466-4800
- Authorities raid sophisticated retail shoplifting ring: Confiscate $100,000 in merchandise
On Friday March 13, authorities raided an apartment set up to mimic a storefront and confiscated shoplifted merchandise valued at approximately $100,000, according to Peabody Police. Police also confiscated $10,000 in cash. The interior of the residential dwelling at 140 Chestnut St. was set up to mimic a storefront where prospective “shoppers” could view the alleged stolen merchandise, according to Peabody Police.
Organized retail shoplifting rings are supplied by boosters who frequent area retail establishments with the goal of shoplifting specified items requested by the ring leader(s). Shoplifting rings often resell items by different means, including online sales and overseas shipments. The merchandise confiscated was primarily clothing and perfume. In recent reports, retail losses attributed to such organizations are potentially in excess of $30 billion a year, police said. Officers from Peabody, Chelsea and Revere Police Departments, in conjunction with officials from Northshore Mall, Homeland Security, and corporate loss prevention agencies from Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister assisted with operation. The search warrant was the direct result of a lengthy and extensive Organized Retail Shoplifting Ring investigation led by Peabody Police. Three persons were arrested and taken into custody by the Chelsea Police Department.
Miguel Lopez, 32; Pedro Vasquez, 48; and Juventina Ramirez, 50; all of 140 Chestnut St. #3 in Chelsea.
Red Devils await tourney seeding, foe The Chelsea High boys basketball team concluded its season Friday, dropping a 66-62 decision to Greater Lowell, for whom the victory clinched an outright title of the Large Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. The contest at the CHS gym was highlighted by Senior Night festivities at which CHS seniors Oscar Sabillon, Jorge Ramos, Eric Martinez, Carlos Vega, Freddie Ortiz, and Abdala Bana were recognized for their contributions to the CHS boys program. As for the game, the Red Devils started slowly, falling behind 40-28 after the first half. “We came out flat-footed,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal. “We didn’t play with our usual defensive intensity and we gave up too many baskets.” Chelsea played better after the intermission, eventually closing the gap to two points late in the game. Chelsea had opportunities to tie the contest, but key turnovers and missed shots foiled their effort. Victor Corrales paced the CHS scoring attack with 15 points and teammates Sabillon and Eric Flores hit for 14 each. Ortiz scored five points, Albie Alicea and Nelson Vega added four points each, Eric Fernandez chipped in three, and Carlos Vega contributed two. Seigal and his crew, who finished the year with a 10-10 record, now await the word of their seeding and first round opponent in the Division 2 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament.
Simon Solis, 36, of 10 W. Baltimore, Lynn, was arrested for driving under the influence, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, assault and battery and stolen motor vehicle.
Elder Portillo, 19, of 100 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for straight warrant felony.
Karen Ortiz-Montez, 18, of 959 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery and destruction of property.
Hector Ortiz, 30, of 92 Fourth Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.
Raul A. Rosario, 45, of 4 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for two counts of assault and battery.
Jonathan Norena, 22, of 124 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.
John Smith, 30, of 48 Gardner Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery and witness intimidation.
Robert Deramo, 45, of 112 Bellingham Street, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.
Alfredo Mieses, 20, of 130 Congress Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.
Danilo Barreto, 47, of 159 Richborn Street, Revere, was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and interfering with a police officer.
Jennifer G. Vijil, 21, of 55 Union Street, Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering in the nighttime and unarmed robbery.
Myron Calderon, 21, of 45 Fourth Street, Chelsea, was arrested for two counts of unarmed robbery.
Jose V. Chevez, 32, of 55 Washington Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct and threat to commit a crime.
Hector Ruiz, 32, of 783 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery.